Shucos or Guatemalan “hot dogs” are served on freshly baked rolls with carne asada, grilled chicken or chorizo as well as chimichurri, avocado, coleslaw, ketchup, mayonnaise and mustard.
It’s time to add Guatemalan food to your repertoire. Cuisine is rare in the Connecticut dining scene and as yet virtually nonexistent in Hartford County. But with Aurora’s opening in the capital in December, a family of first-time business owners are bringing their culture to the region. Aurora’s is open daily for breakfast, lunch, dinner and homemade baked goods and offers omelets, sandwiches, wraps, salads and specialties such as churrasco with carne asada. The daily specials include tamales, traditional soups and stews, tacos and filled chilies.
Aurora’s sunny space on Capitol Avenue in Hartford features bright works of art that pay homage to the owners’ homeland, Guatemala.
I had my eye on the shucos, described as a “Guatemalan hot dog” on a bun with a choice of meat (chorizo, carne asada or grilled chicken) with chimichurri, avocado, coleslaw, ketchup, mayonnaise and mustard. It’s more like a grinder and a Mexican torta having a baby, with an explosion of flavors and textures on the fresh bread. Maybe a touch of a great burger too, with the subtle char of the carne asada playing with ketchup and mustard. I missed the sandwich as soon as I took the last bite. Guatemalans love their bread, says co-owner Karen Valenzuela, and one case shows the lovingly baked goodies of the day: French bread, pan dulce, tostadas, cinnamon rolls. Campechana, a fluffy bread swirled in a spiral and lightly dusted with sugar, was a favorite, perfect for breakfast with coffee.
The Aurora offers homemade bread such as pan dulce (left) and campechanas that are dusted with sugar every day.
Eat in or take out?
Aurora’s cozy space is sunny and inviting if you enjoy dining indoors, and picnic tables are set up outside on the sidewalk for warmer weather. But the food goes well with take away, and either way, we think you’ll bring home some sandwiches.
399 Capitol Ave., Hartford
Opening times: Monday to Saturday, 7 am to 7 pm, Sunday 11 am to 7 pm